Since announcing the birth of her daughter, Olympia, almost a year ago, Serena Williams has been very open on social media about the struggles of #momlife.
Fans and followers have been grateful to Williams for being so candid about her struggles with breastfeeding, maternal mental health and her traumatic birth experience, but Williams says she's also grateful to her online community of fellow parents who have followed along on her journey.
In a new interview with TODAY, Williams explains that she actually felt better after sharing, via Twitter, how she missed Olympia's first steps because she was working.
“Being around her every day is super important, and I want her to have just a great upbringing the best way that I… https://t.co/RFjcyrtanG
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) 1534941072.0
"When I missed Olympia's walking, I posted about it and so many parents wrote in and said, 'Don't worry about it, I missed it too,'" Williams told TODAY.
"I didn't realize that it's almost more normal to miss it than it is to make it," she added. "So I really kind of rely on everyone's help out there. It's been so, so amazing," Williams continued.
Williams posted the tweet in July, and started a really important conversation about milestones and mom guilt.
She took her first steps... I was training and missed it. I cried.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) 1530952451.0
Williams was understandably sad to have missed this milestone in her daughter's life, but hearing from other parents who'd gone through similar milestone misses soothed her pain.
According to the results of a survey released by Motherly , 78% of mothers surveyed say they have mixed feelings about combining a career and motherhood, and that "there are real tradeoffs." But missing milestones doesn't just happen to working parents, as Williams' twitter followers kindly pointed out to her. It happens to stay-at-home parents as well.
It doesn't mean you're a bad parent, it just means you're human.
@serenawilliams I'm a housewife and was in the next room and I missed it. With both of the twins. Please don't feel… https://t.co/zhYPaqjZ5L
— wondermom (@wondermomwic) 1530953568.0
Life as a new mom can be hard, but as Williams shared in her TODAY interview, just because the first year of parenthood is challenging doesn't mean it isn't also full of joy, and knowing that fellow parents are going through the same things can help one see that.
"It's been an amazing year," she told TODAY. "I've always been this joyful person but now it's just totally different. I feel just, light. It's just totally different."